It's been a while since I talked about Orion's progress. Included in this post is his physical and eating progress and where we are with his cochlear implant candidacy process.
Physical Progress (As of late June)
Orion constantly, gradually improved his head control, now he is starting to control his trunk/shoulder better. I've done some exercises with Orion over the last few weeks, various and inconsistent but the one exercise I always did and often was the pull-ups. When Orion's laying on his back, I bend his legs so his feet are flat on the floor then after touching his upper arms to give him a heads-up on what's going to happen, I lift him up by his arms to a seated position. He's better about keeping his head under control and in line with his body, along with a really cute 'working hard' facial expression. His head used to just drop/hang back through everything.) Thanks to all the physical therapists who work with Orion! Go, go, Orion, go!
We also have him seated between my legs with his back to me. Orion likes to play with certain toys while sitting in that position. Without a toy, he'd squirm his way back to a laying position. During a June weekend at a little friend's birthday party, we sat together in a few inches of cool splash park water and visited with friends. Orion's feet were at an upright water jet and he did not withdraw his limbs! The fun part was we could share with friends Orion's little accomplishments and happiness.
Skyler went to summer school, he seemed to enjoy himself. He counted from 1 to 100, then up to 117. He was soooo proud! (So are we!)
June 29, 2011: Orion ate a sweet potato. Not from the baby food jar but a microwaved, cooled and mashed-to-lumps sweet potato. He likes sweet potatoes so it was worth the challenge of scooping some up with his fingers. During this process, I think he noticed his nose. He put a finger barely up a nostril and held it there for a little bit. Self-discovery today, tomorrow what? :)
Orion enjoys pulling blankets to his face and over his head. Depending on the situation, he shrieks happily.
He's been able to lift his head off the mattress or floor when he's on his knees and hands while someone holds his chest in place. This tells me that this will be his next, "Look, no hands (adult helping hands)!"
Early August Update:
Orion's head control is constantly improving to where I can hold him under his arms, he can keep it in place. Even when I bounce him carefully on my knee. He still likes to hang his head back. I realized we're his enablers whenever we touch the back of his head or neck because he will then push his head back. If I avoid it he'll manage his head on his own somehow. Also, whenever we carry Orion chest-down (facing the floor) he will lift his head up. When we leave him alone on the floor while on his tummy, he doesn't.
He's switched over to whole milk and some solid foods have been added to his diet which is still mostly textured "stage 3" baby food and cereal puffs. We've mashed some sweet potato, cut bananas, strips of toast, offered rice and spaghetti. His favorite food so far is birthday cake. Of course! I've been waiting for him to bring his upper body forward while in the highchair all this time and it took a slice of my birthday cake on a plate for him to do that. (See video)
Eyes: New Scleral Shells
Orion's new clear scleral shells arrived via FedEx the day before we flew back to Maryland. I took the smaller, 'older' shells out and put in the new bigger shells. Their size surprised me and I wondered just how it would fit in. With some Ocuglide and fending off Orion's curious hands (felt like there were 8 of them) I slipped them in. They look great. Not one peep of objection from Orion.
He continues to LOVE water.
Orion is interested in the source of his baby food. Here comes the huge meal messes! It will be worth it because he'll experience and learn so much from however he chooses to interact with his food.
July 31, 2011
Orion is going to Johns Hopkins early morning Tuesday, August 9th for cochlear implant (CI) surgery. It'll be on his right side. I dread any kind of surgery, especially on our baby. We finished the last of many required appointments with a psychology visit at Johns Hopkins in late June. This decision did not come easily for Thomas and I, as well as another condition Orion may have that could obstruct the benefits of a CI, which I will share in another post.
Sleeping Orion (8/2/2011).